Jan 10, 2005

Swift Water

I overheard a news item on the television today while I was combing my hair. A man in Cerritos was swept away by rushing floodwaters and was rescued by a team of emergency personnel. From the hallway, I heard one of the saviors yell, "Hold on, dude!" And I had to sort of laugh at the Southern California-ness of it all. Homes in Ventura just slide right off the hillside and land in a smash heap. I was driving up Fairfax on Friday night, and the east side of the road was just a lake. Cars ploughed on through, creating that fanning wave of water as they went. I remember a flood at the intersection of Sorrento Valley Road and whatever that other Sorrento something road was near my office in San Diego. Some lady decided to try to drive through it and got stranded. Firemen came and rescued her. I wondered if she got a scolding once she was finally back on high ground. When I was a little girl, my mother took me and my sister Sarah to Taiwan for a summer holiday to visit the siblings of hers that were still living there. We were in a department store one night, and Sarah and I -- bored -- were playing. We were standing at the top of the down escalator and pushing on the black rubber handrail and pretending we were sailors lowering rope down onto the deck of a ship. Somehow, I got caught on something and started to be carried down with the handrail, head first, feet flailing. I guess it was the store manager who ran up and fetched me off the thing, headed as I was towards certain doom at the bottom, and when he set me back on my feet, he took extra care to strike me on the head with some amount of force. I went back to my mother, more embarrassed than anything, until I realized that I had managed to cut my foot pretty seriously in the ordeal. The back part of my heel had sort of been sliced off and was just hanging there by skin. Icky, I know. But it didn't start to hurt until I saw it. And then I let loose with banshee-like wailing. It healed up fine, but the scar is plainly visible, as long as I explain the story to you when you look at it. Anyway, I only recall this episode because I wonder if emergency crews who rescue people from their own stupid lack of judgment ever just haul off and give them what for.

The plaster in my apartment shows wet seams in certain places. Water actually dripping down the walls. Not enough to really worry, but enough to notice. And all this rain draws my attention to useless information, like being able to tell that the side of the street that I live on is slightly higher above sea level than the side opposite. And all the umbrellas I own have embarrassing animal prints on them. I didn't notice it until yesterday, but the shoes I wore to Tom's party were covered in mud. Every inch of the four inches of heel was just encrusted with it. It's not like I would have actually worn them into my bed for any reason, but I sort of felt glad that nothing like that had happened. My sheets are white and somewhat extravagant. And mud is just plain no good.

I usually love the rain. It makes me sad that people are dying from it.

posted by Mary Forrest at 5:51 PM | Back to Monoblog


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